Disadvantages

1)    The Sleeve Gastrectomy is not adjustable and is not reversible.

2)    No long term studies to provide long term statistics.

3)    Potential for dyspepsia or acid reflux

Certain complications are seen during the early postoperative period.

1.    Mortality (death) is uncommon, but possible. Leaks are responsible for approximately 50% of the deaths. Pulmonary embolus is another major cause representing approximately 30% of deaths. The mortality rate has been reported to be 0.13%.

2.    Leaks may occur anywhere along the stomach staple line.  If a leak happens, it must be treated right away. Re-operation may be needed to fix the leak.  Early symptoms of a leak are low-grade fevers, difficulty breathing, or an unexplained increase in heart rate.  These signs may be indicating that a severe infection called sepsis is occurring. An exploratory surgery may be immediately necessary. The incidence has been reported to be below 2.2%.

3.    Bleeding can occur both during and immediately after surgery. If significant bleeding occurs, a transfusion of blood products may be necessary. Surgery is reserved for continued bleeding or severe bleeding. The incidence of severe bleeding has been reported to be below 1–2%.

4.    Blood clots can form in blood vessels during or after surgery. A blood clot can develop in the main veins in the leg and is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A blood clot that travels is called an embolus. Pulmonary embolism (PE) remains one of the leading causes of early mortality following sleeve gastrectomy. The use of heparin, pneumatic compression boots, and early post-operative walking are techniques used to prevent DVT and PE.

5.    Infections can occur after surgery in such areas as the lung (pneumonia), incision sites (wound infections) or inside the abdomen (peritonitis). These infections may only require antibiotics, but surgery may be required depending upon the type and degree of infection. Pre-operative antibiotics are used to reduce wound infections. Signs of wound infections include unexplained fevers, redness, increasing pain and swelling, or drainage of pus.

6.    Dehydration occurs when you are not drinking enough water. During the first 5 days, we recommend approximately 36-48 ounces of calorie free beverage per day (water, crystal-light, sugar free Kool-Aid, diet Snapple, and tea). No carbonated drinks of any kinds, broth or bouillon, juices, Gatorade, or drinks that have more than 10 calories per serving should be avoided.

7.    Gallstones may form in the gallbladder causing the tube coming out of the gallbladder to be blocked by the stones. Rapid weight loss increases the development of gallstones. Removal of a person’s gallbladder is not routinely recommended at the time of Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery.

8.    Stenosis/Stricture is a narrowing within the new stomach that prevents food from moving through the stomach pouch easily. Stenosis, or stricture, typically occurs several weeks after surgery and can give rise to symptoms of nausea, vomiting, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), and reflux. An endoscopy or an upper gastrointestinal series is used to determine if a stricture has developed. An endoscopic balloon can be used to stretch (dilate) the stomach pouch. 

9.    Nausea or vomiting can be caused by eating too fast, not chewing food properly, eating food that is too dry, eating too much food at once, drinking liquids with meals or right after meals, drinking with a straw, or lying down too soon after a meal. It may be very difficult at first to realize how little food will satisfy your hunger. 

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